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Monday, May 19, 2008

AT&T Park (SF Giants) - America's Ripoff Joint

I love AT&T Park (aka: Pacific Bell Park, Pac Bell Park, SBC Park, and Telephone Park) because it is a beautiful stadium to watch games. Even sitting at the upper deck gets you great views of the park, the views of the water and East Bay, and doesn't require you to use binoculars to view the game.

But have you noticed that we are getting really ripped off? Like real badly...

Here's a list of things I think is terrible about the ballpark:
  • Outrageous prices on tickets. They offer three levels of prices:
    • Cheapest tickets are for games on Monday-Thursday.
    • "Weekend" tickets are for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games.
    • "Premium" games are always against the Dodgers, New York teams, and some A's games.
  • Then, the tickets for certain sections go for outrageous prices. Want the crappiest seats in the park? Go for the centerfield bleachers. Worst upper deck seats are the last five sections in left field. They sell for cheap, but who the hell can watch a game in those seats?
    • The best seats, therefore the most expensive seats are in the "Lexus" dugout seats, equipped with padded seats, and you are so close to the home plate.
      • Just how much for face value? It cost me about $125. This does not include any additional fees.
      • The best seats for A's tickets is no more than $90. The cheapest seats for the A's is just $9! Come on AT&T Park.
  • And how about those ticket fees? They try to nickel and dime you for every time you buy a ticket. If you purchase at a Giants Dougout location (except the ballpark location) or any tickets.com outlet, you get charged a 17% FEE. What the hell is this?
    • The best time to buy tickets is when you visit the Dugout store at the ballpark or the advance ticket window. They have a much lower service fee.
      • Here's an interesting fact, San Francisco Muni wanted to get a little more money to provide service to the ballpark. They wanted to propose an additional tax on game ticket fees. Hell no.
        • To add insult to injury, Muni DOES NOT ACCEPT BART-TO-MUNI transfers when purchasing your ticket to return from the ballpark to BART. What little bitches! I get a 25 cent discount, and I WANT IT!
  • And how about the food?
    • These guys rip you off so badly. I can easily spend $25 at a ballpark for a half-assed meal. For that money, I can go across the street at Amici's and get myself a large New England Clam Pizza with a soda and possibly some pesto pasta!
      • Why half-assed food? Here's something. I ordered a clam chowder in a bread bowl, and while the soup was OK, the damn bread was STALE! So dry, that the bread bowl soaked in soup was dry enough to make me cough for five minutes.
  • And to add insult to injury...
    • The Giants have now BANNED ALL OPEN BEVERAGES from entering the park, including bottles that have their seal broken.
      • Their reply is that this is to prevent underage drinking.
        • My answer: It is just another way to rip us off by making us fans purchase beverages that cost nearly three times its regular price at grocery stores and other places.
        • Plus, I can't bring in my iced coffee drink from McDonald's

If the Giants wants to stop ripping us off with these outrageous prices, it's time for some changes.
  1. Barry Bonds is gone, he was the star attraction, and now you are selling games with about 9,000 seats still available (this happened at last Friday's game). Also, the team is doing terrible. Reduce prices on admission tickets. Eliminate the SRO (standing room only) and use those prices to offer the hardest seats to sell (upper deck left field).
  2. Lower food prices. It should not cost $4.00 for a Churro (Costco is only $1), and no little hot dog costs $4.50.
  3. Cut back on some of these bogus "park safety" rules. Open bottles are OK, as long as it is not beer or liquor. Why not have the staff sniff the liquid? Alcohol has an obvious smell.
  4. If you love watching them on TV, write to KNTV (aka NBC 11, the second worst local TV station in San Francisco) and tell them to give it back to KTVU, the ULTIMATE KING OF BASEBALL AND NEWS.
  5. It is time to follow other major league parks and offer ALL YOU CAN EAT plans. Our neighbors, the Oakland A's have nosebleed top deck seats with all you can eat food and drink, like hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, sodas, and ice cream. All for the starting price of $35 a ticket. AT&T Park management should use the upper deck left field seats (crappiest in park), and use them for all you can eat plans for a fair price. You'll get a great attendance boost, and with a good choice of food, will be extremely popular.
Well, there's my thoughts. Thanks for reading. If you have any comments on this, please post them on my blog site at: http://www.akit.org/2008/05/at-park-sf-giants-americas-ripoff-joint.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with most of your points. Part of the problem is the Giants already have great attendance-3rd best in MLB this year (http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/sort/homePct) so there's not really any need to offer enticements like "all you can eat plans". And they've had great attendance since the park opened.

I love the park and the Giants but it's not affordable anymore for me with my family of five even with one child under 6 who doesn't need a ticket. Example, I just checked prices for a Tuesday night game against the Pirates in August. Tickets are 67.75 each! Add a $48 "convenience" fee + a handling charge and the total is $322.50 for my family. And these are just about the worst seats in the house (CL202)! Add another $30 parking or Caltrain tickets to get there from the Peninsula. Then, let's say 4 hot dogs 3 soft drinks, a beer, and some garlic fries for another $40 and we're pretty much looking at $400.

So thanks for your post! We've found an alternative way to enjoy baseball this summer until the prices come down or our income goes up.